School's out for tertiary students, which also means job-hunting season has begun. Recruiters and hiring managers talk to BENITA AW YEONG about nightmare interviews, and the dos and don'ts when it comes to making the best first impression.
SCENARIO #1: Dressed for gym
Mr Dave Chew, assistant manager at recruitment firm TBC HR Consulting:
"He was a candidate in his late 20s, applying for an executive-level office position.
"I gave him ample lead time to prepare for our meeting, but he still turned up in the shoddy getup (slippers, singlet and shorts).
"When I pointed out that his outfit was not suitable for the occasion, he apologised and explained that he was heading to the gym after the meeting.
"Granted, the gym was a stone's throw away from my office, but his getup was still unacceptable.
"I short-listed him for a position because of his stellar working experience, but I would advise candidates to dress smartly, even if you're meeting the recruiter and not your prospective employer."
SCENARIO #2:Dissing previous employer
Ms Shirin Aziz, marketing manager at human resource company Adecco Singapore:
"She was a mid-career professional with more than 10 years of experience. Her resume was impressive. She was punctual and well-groomed.
"But things started going south when she started bad-mouthing her ex-employer.
"There are many reasons why people leave their jobs - long working hours, mismatched skills, corporate culture as well as relationships with management and colleagues.
"But dissing your previous boss or employer during an interview does nothing for your professional image.
"It not only made me uncomfortable, but I began to wonder if I could potentially fall victim to this, too, should I became her employer.
"Be truthful and sincere but avoid the scandalous details."